It is the unknown I’m afraid of.
The force of it wipes all rational thought
from within me and I am left
with the tangles of what remains,
mere ribbons that flit and flap in the wind
where rational thought used to reside.
It is the uncertainty I’m afraid of.
I no longer know the face of my enemy.
Instead, it could reside within in all of us,
an unseen force that terrorizes
even though we cannot see its true shape
or know its intent.
It is the anxiety that I’m afraid of.
It beats inside of me like another heart,
causing me to jump whenever I hear it.
I want to hide even from myself,
but when I go within seeking shelter,
it is to find that I have forgotten how to breathe.
It is the worry that I’m afraid of.
It fills my dreams and my waking hours,
a constant companion that whispers things in my ears.
I’ve come to realize that my home,
once my sanctuary and my escape,
has now become my prison and my defense.
It is fear itself that I’m afraid of.
I am tired of mistrusting the steps
that I’ve taken to protect myself and those I love,
of looking at my friends and neighbours
with suspicion and wondering if any of them
carries the unseen foe within.
I don’t want to be afraid anymore.